Ridge Preservation Procedure
Preserving Your Jaw Bone after Extraction
Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in unsightly defects and collapse of the lips, and cheeks.
These jaw defects can create major problems in performing restorative dentistry whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures. Jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented and repaired by a procedure called ridge preservation (also known as socket preservation). Ridge preservation can maximize the success of dental implant procedures and improve aesthetic outcomes as well.
Several techniques can be used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. In one common method, the tooth is removed and the socket is filled with bone or bone substitute. It is then covered with gum, artificial membrane, or tissue stimulating proteins to encourage your body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, shrinkage and collapse of surrounding gum and facial tissues around the socket is minimized. The newly formed bone in the socket also provides a foundation for an implant to replace the tooth. If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if ridge preservation is necessary in the socket. This is particularly important if you are planning on replacing the front teeth.